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Ask.com default search removal


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#1 Uncas

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Posted 05 January 2010 - 11:01 AM

Hello,
I made the mistake of choosing ASK.com as my default search engine. It has now hijacked my browser and hassles me if I try to use Yahoo or Google to search. When I try to use these other search engines I get a no connectivity screen. When I click the "diagnose problem" button the webpage mounts and I'm OK until I try to search again. I have tried to remove it by going into tools/ general/ search/ and redefining the default... but when I click on ASK.com the "Delete" button will not highlight...

I have also tried downloading the ASK.com setup program from their website. It will not execute for some reason. I have also tried add and remove programs from my Control Panel and the ASK.com does not show up there....

Does anyone know how I can remove this PEST!

Thanks for any help you can give...

Uncas

Edited by Uncas, 05 January 2010 - 11:03 AM.


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#2 petewills

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Posted 05 January 2010 - 11:13 AM

You could look at this link:

http://niloevangelista.blogspot.com/2009/0...efault-web.html

As always, at your own risk.

#3 Uncas

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Posted 06 January 2010 - 07:29 AM

Thanks Pete,
I tried this but the Ask Setup utility does not open after I unzip it. I double click on the Ask icon... the top bar of my browser flashes a couple of times and then ....nothing. :thumbsup:

#4 petewills

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Posted 06 January 2010 - 09:44 AM

Most annoying - the .exe will not go past 'do you want to run' etc.

See this link; (it links to the same .exe file with the same result).

http://www.paperstreet.com/blog/index.php/archives/582

HOWEVER, you can email Ask.com with the problem.

There is also another possible solution in this link.

#5 hamluis

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Posted 06 January 2010 - 11:04 AM

You can remove/disable the Ask toolbar and search engine...by opening IE...Tools/Manage Add-ons...and make desired changes.

Louis

#6 Uncas

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 07:52 AM

Thanks everyone that has responded, but I don't believe that you have read my request thoroughly. What I am saying is that I have tried all of the suggestions that you have made before I came on to Bleeping Computer and non of these work for my particular situatiion.

Does anyone have anything new to try? I still have been unable to get rid of this thing.....


Uncas

#7 petewills

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 08:09 AM

Have you also contacted Ask.com

From previous link:

"If you still experience issues after running this tool, please send an email to AskToolbarBugs@ask.com"

#8 Papakid

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 10:53 AM

If Windows is installed on your C: drive, which it should be for most people, try the following batch file so I can see what is going on with your search hook. If your main drive is a letter other than C, do nothing til you let me know what drive letter to use.

Click this attachment and save it to your desktop-->Attached File  Test.bat   97bytes   19 downloads

Double-click Test.bat to run it--it will only take a second.
Now click START, then Run. Copy the following bold text, paste it into the Run box and click OK:

C:\testreg.txt

The testreg.txt file should open in Notepad--if not look for it in the root folder of your C drive. Copy the contents of the file into your next reply.

The thing about people

is they change

when they walk away.--Mipso


#9 Animal

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 04:09 PM

Is this the same computer as the HJT Log you are posting: Hijacked...again ??

If it is, please see the following suggestion:

You should NOT make further changes to your computer (install/uninstall programs, use special fix tools, delete files, edit the registry, etc) unless advised by a HJT Team member, nor should you continue to ask for help elsewhere. Doing so can result in system changes which may not show it the log you already posted. Further, any modifications you make on your own may cause confusion for the helper assisting you and could complicate the malware removal process which would extend the time it takes to clean your computer.

From this point on the HJT Team should be the only members that you take advice from, until they have verified your log as clean.

Please be patient. It may take a while to get a response because the HJT Team members are very busy working logs posted before yours. They are volunteers who will help you out as soon as possible. Once you have made your post and are waiting, please DO NOT make another reply until it has been responded to by a member of the HJT Team. Generally the staff checks the forum for postings that have 0 replies as this makes it easier for them to identify those who have not been helped. If you post another response there will be 1 reply. A team member, looking for a new log to work may assume another HJT Team member is already assisting you and not open the thread to respond.

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#10 Uncas

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Posted 11 January 2010 - 07:48 PM

Animal,

Thank you for the response! As a matter of fact it is not.... I have three desk tops and two laptops that I manage in my home between myself, two teenagers and my wife....

The Ask.com problem is with my Dell desk top and the Hijack is with my wifes Dell computer. I've seen Hijacks before and this one is incredible.... when I tried to get back on to "my bleeping computer" it redirected me and told me that "MBC" was "dangerous site". It tried to redirect me...Please help if you can.

Thanks,
Uncas

#11 Orange Blossom

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Posted 12 January 2010 - 09:02 PM

Hello,

For the issue concerning this topic, please read and follow the instructions in Papakid's post.

Orange Blossom :thumbsup:
Help us help you. If HelpBot replies, you MUST follow step 1 in its reply so we know you need help.

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#12 Uncas

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 09:27 AM

Papakid,
Thanks for the reply! Here is the information that you asked for.....

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\URLSearchHooks]
"{CFBFAE00-17A6-11D0-99CB-00C04FD64497}"=""
"{EF99BD32-C1FB-11D2-892F-0090271D4F88}"=""


Thanks again,
Uncas

#13 Papakid

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 11:18 AM

OK, no Ask search hook there just the default and Yahoo. So the problem does not lie with this registry key. I can explore some possible fixes and get back to you but I need the answers to some questions first. Mainly how Ask became the default in the first place.

1. Did you install the ask.com toolbar? A lot of "free" programs now will ask you if you want to install Ask when you are installing the free program. In some cases the program will install but won't run until you install the Ask toolbar.

1.A. If you installed the ask.com toolbar while installing some other program, did you also allow Ask to become the default search provider in the installation process?

1.B. If you installed the ask.com toolbar while installing some other program, what was the name of the program and what site did you download from?

2. If you don't have the Ask.com toolbar installed, did you just go into Internet Explorer and change the default search provider in the way that hamluis has mentioned, or did you do something else?

3. Do you have the Yahoo toolbar installed?

4. Do you use Internet Explorer exclusively or some other browser?

5. What antivirus do you have installed and has it been removing any infections lately?

This last question is most important and may even need to be rephrased. I glanced at the HijackThis log of your wife's computer long enough to notice that there are a couple of antispyware/malware programs installed, but no dedicated antivirus. Unless the SpywareDoctor she has installed is Spyware Doctor with AntiVirus. If that's the case with you let me know. Many people do not know what an antivirus is and how it is different from other antimalware programs like Spyware Doctor and MBAM--that an antivirus with real time/on access scanning will prevent most known infections from occurring in the first place where those other programs don't or are more limited in what they will prevent.

If you have been surfing without the protection of a true antivirus, there is a good possibility that you are also infected, which complicates fixing this and other problems. Your inability to run the ask.com setup utility could be a sign of this. It is common now for malware to disable any executable file from running. That lets it protect itself by preventing you from installing programs that could find and remove it.

Even with the protection of a true antivirus, you could still be infected, so let me know if anything has been found lately and we'll go from there.

The thing about people

is they change

when they walk away.--Mipso


#14 Papakid

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 02:07 PM

Well, I have been playing around with IE to see if i can reproduce the steps you have already tried and may have found a very simple solution. You can't remove a search Addon as long as it is set as the default search engine. Try these steps in exact order:

1. With IE open go to Tools/Manage Add-ons.
2. Click the Search Providers button on the left.
3. Select the search engine you want as your default, for example, Google.
4. Click the Set as Default button.
5. Now click the Ask.com Add-on to select it.
6. The Remove button should now be enabled. Click it and Ask should be removed from the list.

Close the Add-on manager and you might want to close IE and then restart it. Then test and let us know how it goes.

Even if it works, please still answer the questions in my last post.

The thing about people

is they change

when they walk away.--Mipso


#15 Uncas

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Posted 13 January 2010 - 02:55 PM

Papakid,
It's been a while, so my answers are "to the best of my knowledge"

Two things have occured here that might relate to how this has happened...

1) I got PO'ed at Google for some of their political/social agenda lately so I wanted to try something else...I want a search engine not social commentary! I left Yahoo because their front page just became to confusing with all the pop ups and I couldn't find anything on their anymore. I went to ASK.com and loaded the tool bar... the big mistake happened when I answered yes to making it my "default search engine".

Many of the well intended folks who have told me to try to remove it as the default in IE have not read that I have tried this time and again. The problem with that is I am not given the option to remove it because it is labeled"unavailable" in that dialog box... I can't touch it.

2.) I went out to Microsft and downloaded IE 8.0, hoping that there would be an oportunity to take care of this with the upgrade... I was disapointed.

Now when I search with any search engine I get the search engine's page, but when I click on the link for that which I am searching I recieve the message "internet explorer cannot display the page" with the button labeled "diagnose connection problem". When you click on the "diagnose the connection problem" button the new page (the one that I wanted) comes up and you can close out of the diagnostic wizard. It is very strange!

This started happening at the same time I loaded the ASK Toolbar. Given that the bar won't go away and this deal, as described earlier, showed up at the same time I'm making th assumption that they are related.

Back to your questions...

The Yahoo toolbar is disabled

I use IE 99% of the time but I have Foxfire in case IE goes south on me.

I have all kinds of antivrus/malware stuff on my computer...

I run Zone Alarm pro as a firewall and to scan for viruses & spyware. I have Spyware Doctor installed because it picks up things that Zone Alarm misses but I keep it inactive... It really slows things down to run both... I also use Malwarebytes.

My wifes computer runs Spyware Doctor exclusively. I do not have Zone Alarm loaded on her machine. I wanted to compare them...

I believe that answers your questions, and updates you on what I have observed lately.

Much thanks,
Uncas

Edited by Uncas, 13 January 2010 - 02:57 PM.





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